Spiderweb covered with dew
Spiderweb covered with dew at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge (TN)
Credit: Gabby Salazar

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide what you would like to photograph. I often make up a personal assignment. One of my favorite assignments is to find patterns in nature. If you look closely at leaves, bark, stones or flower petals, you can find many beautiful repeating lines and patterns.

This month, get down low in the grass to examine an ant hill or look for dew drops on plants. You will find unexpected beauty in natural patterns. If you have a digital camera, read the manual to find the macro setting that allows you to focus closely on small objects. Remember to hold your camera steady as you take a picture and to try different perspectives for each subject.

Take Action – Find the following patterns in your backyard or a nearby refuge:

  • Find something in nature that has beautiful striped lines like the veins on a leaf or ripples in water.


  • Get close to a tree and look for interesting knots in the bark.


  • Look for the shape of a heart or a star. You might find it in the pattern on a rock or in the form of a flower.


  • Discover other patterns – make a small list and go on your own photo scavenger hunt.